Currently one person every 90 minutes dies by suicide in the UK and approximately two thirds of these are not in contact with mental health services.
This is why health and care partners in Coventry and Warwickshire came together to mark World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) on Tuesday 10 September to raise awareness of resources and services that provide vital help in the region.
On the day, a series of partnership events were held across the region hosted by the suicide and mental health services that are available to residents. The events offered residents a chance to start conversations around suicide, focusing on early warning signs, coping strategies and provided information and support on looking after your wellbeing and the wellbeing of others.
The partnership also launched the Stay Alive app, a free suicide prevention pocket resource designed to be a lifeline for people at risk of suicide, or for those concerned about the safety of someone. It contains local mental health and suicide prevention information all in one place, as well as customisable features like the LifeBox to store photos and memories and reasons for living. Designed for everyone, this is an easily accessible and supportive app aimed to keep minds at ease.
Dr Sharon Binyon, Medical Director at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said:
“World Suicide Prevention Day is an opportunity for local communities, including the NHS and local authorities, to come together to raise awareness of suicide, the support that is out there, and to encourage people to talk about their feelings.
“If you or someone close to you has had thoughts of suicide, hopefully these events will give you plenty of information of where you can access the support and help you might need.”
Warwickshire County Councillor Les Caborn, portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing, said:
“Every death by suicide is a tragedy and impacts families, friends and the wider community. Our support for World Suicide Prevention Day is a part of the council’s ongoing commitment to working with our partners to reducing the rates and providing better support for those bereaved by suicide.
“For the second year in a row, the theme for WSPD is ‘working together’, emphasising the importance of collaboration and recognising that everyone can make a contribution in preventing suicide.”
Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, Coventry City Council, Liz Gaulton said:
“We have been working with our partners to raise awareness, address the stigma, and reduce the rates of suicide in Coventry. Unfortunately, mental health is not talked about enough and we want everyone in our city to feel they have someone to talk to, feel confident in doing so, and know that help is available should they need it.
“We encourage everyone to show their support for world suicide prevention day and every day.”
For information about a range of mental health and wellbeing services, including face to face, telephone, online and self-help resources available in Coventry and Warwickshire, please visit: warwickshire.gov.uk/mentalhealth, www.coventry.gov.uk/mentalhealth or www.covwarkpt.nhs.uk